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English Custard Tart– GBBO technical bake 4

September 10, 2013

From this..

The Great British Seaside

…to this (and a lot of rain)

English Custard Tart Great British Bake Off GBBO Delia

Tart Tuesday

What a perfect weekend. Walks along the seafront at Bournemouth with family, lots of reading, lots of chat and lots of good food, then home and straight to baking this week’s technical bake. That’s my commitment to this challenge to myself –  baking an English Custard Tart at 9pm after a weekend away by the seaside, Since I was in a bit of a hurry to have a nice cup of tea and a sit down, I only rested my pastry for 15mins which may have led to the slight shrinkage, or perhaps the fact that I blind baked it without any baking beans ( or rice alternative). Also, I made it in a victoria sponge tin as I don’t own a tart tin.

I refuse to make any jokes about the crispness of the base layer of pastry. Too many have been made already. I think mine was erring on the not-totally-crisp side. Sorry Paul.

So, here’s how I made it (with a big nod to Delia, <update 04/16: Delia’s recipe link isn’t available so try this one from Tesco>). I have since read Ed Kimber’s (ex bake-off winner) recipe and I think it sounds nicer. Might be worth a go if you’re planning on trying this.

Traditional English Custard Tart

150 g plain flour,
pinch of salt
65g  butter

Custard filling
3 large eggs, plus 2 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
570 ml single cream
50 g caster sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ whole nutmegs, freshly grated

For the pastry

Put the flour and salt in a bowl. Rub in the butter until it resembles breadcrumbs, or pulse in a food processor,
Add about 1 tbsp of water and try bringing the mix together using a knife, then your hands, If need be add a little more water. You want to use as little water as possible whilst still having a texture that you can roll out.
Put in a sandwich bag and leave to rest in the fridge for 30mins (do as I say, not as I do).
Preheat the oven to 190C / 375F with a baking tray in it (or if you have an oven that can add extra base heat, turn that on).
Dust your work surface with flour and roll out the pastry until big enough to fill the tart tin with extra to go over the edges. Press into the tart tin and trim the edges of the pastry it so that there’s some on the top of the lip of the tin, then cut leaf shapes (or whatevever) from the off cuts and use some of the whisked egg to stick them around the edge.
Wash the whole of the cash with egg, prick the base with a fork,. Place on the hot baking tray and bake blind (aka empty) for about 20mins until crisp and golden. You may chose to line with foil and fill with baking beans.

After it is done, take the pastry case out of the oven and turn it down to 170C / 325F but leave it on

For the filling
In a saucepan, gently heat the cream to a simmer.
In a large (big enough for the milk and egg together) heatproof jug, gentle whisk the eggs and sugar together.
Pour the hot cream into it whilst mixing.
Add half of the nutmeg and the vanilla.
Place the pastry case back in the over, pull the wire shelf halfway out and pour the liquid in.
Sprinkle the rest of the nutmeg on top and bake for 30-40 mins until the filling is golden brown, firm in the middle and a little puffed up.

I have a question for you  . When I took the tart out of the oven it had puffed up a lot . According to the recipe it’s only meant to puff up a little. I presume this has caused the oh-so-attractive wrinkly top. Why has it done this?  I whisked the egg together a very small amount but not much at all.

English Custard Tart Delia Great British Bake Off

A wrinkly tart. Snigger.

You can see all the bloggers who are baking along with GBBO by checking out the “Great Blogger Bake Off” hosted by The Crazy Kitchen and Mummy Mishaps and also the link up over at Bakers Anonymous


15 Comments leave one →
  1. September 10, 2013 10:12 pm

    i have no idea why yours has a skin on it making it a bit wrinkly!! how strange. but did it taste nice??? i have never tried a custard tart before!!! i did enjoy your introduction the seaside to the tart and the rain in between!
    thank you for linking up x

  2. September 10, 2013 10:14 pm

    tonight was the first time I’d made a custard tart so no idea why yours puffed up..mine puffed up on one side, which is the side of my oven that is hotter so I’m wondering if it;s the heat – the recipe I used called for a slightly cooler oven than yours – 160 C…if it’s not that I have no idea!
    But your pie looks great anyway…love the edge of your pastry.

  3. September 11, 2013 10:20 am

    I’ve never made a custard tart before, and having watched the programme I’m not sure that I’m brave enough to attempt it! Yours looks wonderful and perfectly cooked!

  4. September 11, 2013 10:30 pm

    Kudos for getting home from a weekend away and into the kitchen to bake a custard tart late at night!!

    As Helen said, maybe you have a hot spot on one side. I know mine is in the back left corner so I have to turn things otherwise I get one side baked more than the other.

    Your tart does look fab, and I love the pastry edging 🙂 x

  5. September 12, 2013 1:54 pm

    I’m not very experienced in the pie making field (unlike the pie eating field!) so I can’t offer any ideas. What I can safely say is that your pie looks absolutely gorgeous and I want a piece. I’m thinking it was worth making in order to enjoy a slice with that cup of tea, no?

  6. September 12, 2013 5:48 pm

    Interesting to read the answers on your wrinkly top, I would also have guessed the oven but I’m no expert, love what you’ve done to the pastry edge too, very pretty

  7. September 14, 2013 9:36 pm

    looks great, I do love egg custard, I nearly did one this week, maybe next year 🙂 I know nothing about wrinkly tops sorry,

  8. September 14, 2013 10:55 pm

    Hmmm, I’ve never made a custard tart before so not sure of the answer, sorry! It’s very pretty though!

  9. September 15, 2013 7:31 pm

    Well done on your custard tart. I’m not keen on them so it won’t be on my baking list, I did manage to make an apple pie with a nice bottom though 😉

  10. September 15, 2013 8:30 pm

    Well done! It looks fantastic. I’m so tempted to try now I’m reading all these fantastic posts- I was running a mile after watching. I’ve no idea about the puff!

  11. September 16, 2013 12:22 am

    Well done for making it with hardly any of the “proper” bits and bobs 🙂 I made custard tarts to and mine also had a slight skin on top.

  12. michelle permalink
    September 17, 2013 9:20 pm

    I love egg custard and followed your link from Paul Ex bake off winner and yours looks very tasty and rustic looking and more like the Egg Custards I remember my Gran making when I was a kid..I’m certainly going to have a go. 🙂

    • September 17, 2013 10:00 pm

      Did you mean you found mine through a link? If so, where? Just intrigued!!

  13. Lester permalink
    October 12, 2013 10:26 pm

    The reason your tart souffléd up is because of the temperature. At this heat (and this duration) you end up, essentially, with an omelette on top of scrambled egg. No wonder Delia refers to it as “old fashioned custard tart”, as I don’t think many people would go for it these days. If you prefer a smooth, creamy texture (like a firm creme brulee), use just egg yolks (as in Ed’s recipe) and cook in a low oven until the filling is just set.

    For custard tart perfection, have a look at Marcus Wareing’s.


  1. GBBO Week 4 Round Up | Mummy Mishaps

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